Dylan Fest AC Returns to Atlantic City, New Jersey

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Bob Dylan’s deep ties to the Jersey Shore in connection with his groundbreaking musical journey with The Band will be celebrated at the 3rd annual Dylan Fest AC 2017 on Saturday, Aug. 12th, at Dante Hall Theater, 14 N. Mississippi Ave., in Atlantic City.

The third annual event, which has sold out the previous two years, begins with a pre-show wine tasting and Dylan-themed art show from 5-7 p.m. at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University at Fairmount and Mississippi avenues (across the street from Dante Hall Theater).

Live music begins at Dante Hall at 7:30 p.m. with headliners 5 Believers performing Dylan’s 1983 Infidels album in its entirety. The South Jersey-based band, which has performed at both of the previous Dylan Fest AC events, will be joined by very special guest Gary Solomon of “The THE BAND Band” to perform songs Dylan and the Band played together.

The concert also will include an acoustic set by Just Like the Women, a group formed especially for the concert and featuring some of the most outstanding women vocalists in the South Jersey region. The supergroup features popular performers C. Lynne Smith, Marnie Bevan-Lengle, and jazz vocalist Bernadette Matthews, along with Marlene Babbert (bass) and Schwachter (acoustic guitar).

Local duo Watson & Shocket will perform a brief opening set. The live music program, emceed by WZXL’s Steve Raymond, will include three sets of Bob Dylan music. 

Dylan Fest AC began in 2015 to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s first hooking up with Levon & the Hawks (later to become The Band) in August 1965, in Somers Point, N.J., along with the enduring musical relationship between Dylan and members of The Band, which continues today.

The event is the brainchild of Jeff Schwachter, a musician and artist who performs in the 5 Believers and with Dead Reckoning in the Dylan & The Dead Experience.”

The lobby of Dante Hall will be transformed into a Dylan museum, with original artwork (some for sale) by regional artists including Mike Bell, Victor Perez, Schwachter, and others. Vintage posters, photos and other Bob Dylan and Band-related memorabilia will also be featured.

Also on hand will be copies of the book New Jersey Folk Revival Music by New Jersey author Michael C. Gabriele (who'll be speaking in Vineland on Saturday, Aug. 5 about his previous book The History of Diners in New Jersey as part of the Vineland Historical & Antiquarian Society's Open House event.)

Light fare and beverages will be available.

Formica Bros. Bakery is the presenting sponsor of Dylan Fest 2017, with additional sponsorships and support from WZXL 100.7 FM, ArtC, Ducktown Tavern, GrassRoots Music Shop, Mainstay Made, John Crotty Stringed Instrument Repair Shop, the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University and Dante Hall. Listen for ticket giveaways on WZXL 100.7 FM, "South Jersey’s Classic Rock station."

Tickets are $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door and can be purchased by visiting dantehallstockon.org or calling the Box Office at 609-626-3890.

For more information, video and photos, visit: dylanfest-ac.com and LIKE the official Facebook page.

Parking is located at the WAVE Parking Garage, adjacent to the Noyes Arts Garage, 2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ.

Dylan Fest AC Dante Hall Stockton 2016 2017 5 Believers Jeff Schwachter Bob Dylan

Pictured: The 5 Believers, which this year features the following line-up: Barney Lihn (drums), Michael Morrow (electric and slide guitar), Jeff Schwachter (electric guitar, vocals, harmonica), Mark DeVaul (bass) and John Bigham (keyboards, piano). Photo: DAS

Editor's Note: Jeff Schwachter, the producer of "Dylan Fest AC," works on the content team for SNJ Today.

Recommended: Interview with the Weight Band's Jim Weider on Dylan, New Songs, More.

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